a few nice things

There is a lot going on here behind the scenes (I’ve been writing a book and designing a new collection with our brand new yarn) and I’ve not found myself with much spare time for blog posting . . . but in amongst all the hard work I’ve been enjoying some nice things, such as…

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end of summer knitting

note: links in this post refer back to Ravelry projects and profiles. Perhaps because I worked for so long in universities, September has always had a fresh start-of-a-new-year feel about it to me, and I suspect that might also be the case for anyone who works with (or just enjoys) yarn and knitting. Here at…

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Lunardi in Campsie

The revival of my eighteenth-century balloon-o-mania was inspired after some recent walks around Clachan of Camspie and Milton of Campsie (just north and east of where we live) during which I discovered that that balloonist, Vincent Lunardi, landed in Campsie Glen at the conclusion of his second flight from Glasgow in November 1785. After wowing…

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balloons

I’ve a long-held fascination with late eighteenth-century hot air balloons and ballooning. In fact, I’ve even knitted an eighteenth-century balloon (in a square of our International Women’s Day blanket, which references the Montgolfier balloon that appears in the final lines of Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s brilliant poem, Washing Day) In the past few weeks, my historic…

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restock!

For KDD, as for most other small businesses, the past few months have certainly posed their difficulties. I have not talked about such difficulties here: though some things have not been easy, I’m continually reminded that, unlike so many others, absolutely nothing we’ve had to face in any way counts as hardship. I’m grateful for…

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the pillar craig

I’ve been reading a lot of books while researching People Make Glasgow, and one of my favourite recent reads is Ian R Mitchell’s This City Now (reissued as Walking through Glasgow’s Industrial Past in 2015) which offers a brilliant walker’s guide to the city’s industrial history. The book mentions one of Mitchell’s peripatetic-literary Glasgow forbears…

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a picture of rain

It has been a very wet and cool July. As our Spring was unusually dry and warm, the garden has definitely appreciated the wet weather, and apart from having to wear the dreaded rain pants on my long daily walks, I’ve rather enjoyed it too. Certainly there is something rather jolly about hearing the rain…

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keeping shop

As part of my research for the introduction to our People Make Glasgow book, I’ve been doing some highly enjoyable work poking about the city’s eighteenth and nineteenth-century post office directories, which provide intriguing lists of Glasgow’s merchants, manufacturing and retail businesses (much like the yellow pages). Looking at these directories across a century or…

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ReJean Denim

One of the things I’ve been really struck by, as I reach the end of the process of writing our People Make Glasgow book, is just how many thriving enterprises in this city are led by brilliant young women. I’ve found learning more about the innovative work of makers, artist and designers like Rachel E…

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Birlinn Yarn love

Hello! Friday is project reveal day, and today I wanted to show you a new iteration of one of my favourite designs of 2019 – the Udal pullover, designed for and with Meg Rodger’s Birlinn Yarn Company. Inspired by one of my favourite Hebridean places, and using Meg’s own fabulously hardy and beautiful Hebridean wool…

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found feathers

I’ve been thinking about how I might incorporate local found materials into the pieces I’m making for my Crafting Futures collaboration with Pilar. So, for the past couple of months, I have been picking up the feathers I come across on my daily walks. I’ve not done anything special when gathering these feathers – I’ve…

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